Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2019 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we look at Czech forward Michal Teply.
Michal Teply started his draft season with four points in four games in an impressive performance at the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup. From there, he would bounce around between three different leagues this season. Teply played 15 games for Bili Tygri Liberec in the top Czech Men’s League. He didn’t get a lot of ice-time and put up just two assists. He also spent time on loan with HC Benatky nad Jizerou in the Czech second division, scoring four goals and six assists for 10 points in 23 games. Teply also spent some time in the Czech under-19 league, putting up nine points in eight regular-season games as well as two goals and six points in four playoff games.
Teply has been a regular on Czech National Teams. He won a bronze medal at last season’s Under-17 World Hockey Challenge, scoring three points in six games. Teply was also part of the Czech team at the last two IIHF Under-18 World Championships putting up six points in that time. With exhibition games and other tournaments, Teply had 29 points in 25 games with the Under-18 national team this year. He also played in the World Junior A Championships this past winter.
Michal Teply Scouting Report
Right Wing/Left Wing — shoots Right
Born May 27th, 2001 — Havlickuv Brod, Czech Republic
Height 6’3″ — Weight 187 lbs [191 cm/85 kg]
Teply has some good traits as a skater given his size but there are also some real deficiencies. His agility and edgework are very high end. They help him to change directions quickly and avoid defenders. His first few steps could use some work, as could his acceleration. The top-end speed is also a bit below average. This could hold him back at the next level.
Teply could stand to add more muscle, especially his core strength. This would help improve his balance and also allow him to be stronger on the puck. However, this is not a huge concern as he has a good frame and it is not unusual for 17-year-olds to need to mature physically and add muscle.
Teply is more of a playmaker than a goal scorer. He has outstanding vision and hockey IQ. Teply sees the play well and is able to anticipate where his linemates and opponents are headed. He uses his long stick to protect the puck and extend plays until they can get open. Once they do, Teply can make a quick pass through a seam. He finds the open man on the cycle and makes a smart pass. By moving the puck quickly, Teply is able to generate offence. He played the point on the power play this past season, controlling the game and setting up teammates in the offensive zone.
Teply also has a very good release on his wrist shot. However, he will need to add power before it is a real threat. This is another area that could improve as he continues to add muscle. Teply has the soft hands to make plays and score goals in tight to the net. However, he needs to be more willing to play a physical game. Against physical defenders, he has a tendency to shy away and play a perimeter-based game. Teply is a strong stick-handler who makes plays at top speed, particularly off the rush or generating zone entries.
Teply is already pretty good at the defensive end of the ice but there are still places his game can improve. He is willing to backcheck and support the defence. However, he is not a physical player and needs to improve his strength to contain opponents on the cycle game. A long stick allows Teply to intercept passes and start the transition game. He could use some continued coaching on his positioning though. Teply is good at staying with his man away from the puck, preventing scoring chances.
Projection and Comparison
Teply has the potential to be a top-six winger but must improve some deficiencies in his game. More muscle could help him to be stronger on the boards and improve his physical game. It could also add to a better wrist shot. However, these are minor fixes. Teply has a lot of high-end playmaking ability. If he is able to improve those areas of his game, he could be a top-six forward at the NHL level in a couple of years. Teply’s game is reminiscent of Blake Wheeler, however, this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill or ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Michal Teply that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
Main Photo via youtube.